The authors analyzed data from nearly 30-year follow-up period to assess the value of intracavitary irradiation with stereotactically implanted beta-emitting radioisotope yttrium- 90 (90Y) silicate colloid for the treatment of cystic craniopharyngiomas. Seventy-three cysts in 60 patients were selected for retrospective analysis. The cumulative dose aimed at the inner surface of the cyst wall was 300Gy. An average of 79% (mean 88.3%) shrinkage of the initial cyst volume was observed. In 47 cysts, the reduction was more than 80%, and the cyst disappeared totally in 29 out of those 47 cases, usually within a year. Mean survival duration after intracavitary irradiation was 9.4 years. Neuroophthalmological prognosis was only favorable when the optic disc was normal or nearly normal at the time of the treatment. In the presence of preexisting optic atrophy, visual damage proved to be irreversible. The long-term results support the view that intracavitary 90Y irradiation is a noninvasive and effective method for the treatment of craniopharyngioma cysts. Because of the mean penetration pathway of beta irradiation is 3.6mm in the soft tissues (maximum 11 mm) it cannot influence the solid part of the tumor; therefore, the best result can be expected in solitary cysts.